Applebee's Raises $150,000 For Make-A-Wish Foundation With Initial Fundraising Project; Exceeds Annual Goal

Funds raised will sponsor children's wishes across New York State and Connecticut

BUFFALO, N.Y., June 30 // PRNewswire // -- In March 2008 T.L. Cannon Companies, the franchisee for Applebee's in Upstate New York and Connecticut, launched the "20 Wishes in 2008" campaign for the Make-A-Wish Foundation with a goal to raise $100,000. Its vision was to sponsor wishes for at least 20 children within the five Make-A-Wish Foundation chapters in its markets. Matt Fairbairn, T.L. Cannon Companies CEO, donated $25,000 to kick off the partnership and Applebee's Services, the parent company, also made a $5,000 commitment. Just three short months later, the results of its first fundraising project are in -- more than $150,000 was raised, exceeding its annual goal well ahead of schedule.

Through the sale of car magnets to patrons, staff dress down days and in-restaurant raffles, employees, managers and customers alike teamed up to raise the funds and sponsor wishes for children with life-threatening medical conditions. Many staff members, and even guests, were so moved by the wish children Applebee's was sponsoring that they made personal contributions.

"We're thrilled with what we have raised for our local Make-A-Wish foundations so far. We've already surpassed our goal, and we're only at the half-way point for the year. We have 2 more major fundraisers lined up in our restaurants for the rest of 2008, and we can't wait to see where we end up in December," said Matt Fairbairn, CEO of T.L. Cannon Companies. "We know that our contribution will create a once-in-a-lifetime experience for local wish kids and their families. I am so inspired by our teams in the restaurants and our guests who have been incredibly motivated to make a difference in these families' lives," he added.

Applebee's also takes a hand-on approach with many Make-A-Wish children and their families. Restaurants host complimentary "wish dinners" bringing children and their family members together at Applebee's, complete with themed decorations and gifts from the restaurant team relating to their special wish. For more information on the Make-A-Wish Foundation program at Applebee's, visit http://www.tlcneighborhood.com.

T.L. Cannon Companies is the franchisee for Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar in Upstate NY and CT. It currently owns and operates 63 restaurant locations.

SOURCE Applebee's

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